Line Of Duty fans were shocked to see James Nesbitt make an appearance on the drama (Picture: BBC / Rex)
*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Line of Duty*
There was a surprise appearance from a major star on Sunday night’s Line of Duty, with James Nesbitt turning up as new character Marcus Thurwell.
The unannounced introduction saw the Cold Feet star pop up as a new dodgy copper, who has ties with some of the most suspicious figures in the police service – and could yet be implicated in the murder of investigative reporter Gail Vella.
The actor has starred in police dramas before, and for a brief moment fans must have believed they were watching a crossover between Line of Duty and Bloodlands as James’s face flashed up in the police records.
While James did not speak in the episode and his picture was only glanced on the AC-12 database, his new character could have a seismic impact on future episodes.
But who is he? Here’s everything we know so far.
Who is Marcus Thurwell?
James will be familiar to stars of Bloodlands (Picture: BBC)
James’s new character is a retired cop currently believed to be living abroad in Spain.
He has ties to the child sex crime scene ring as part of Operation Pear Tree which Vella was looking into before she was killed.
As the pieces begin to fall into place on the show’s sixth series, Marcus’s role could be incredibly important when it comes to discovering why she was murdered.
Viewers learned during the most recent episode that he’s been close to some of the most notable historical cases on the show.
After joining the Vice Squad in the late 90s, he oversaw the investigation into the death of Oliver Stephens-Lloyd – the social worker who looked into the allegations of abuse in the Sands View Boys Home.
Oliver supposedly committed suicide, but a newly opened investigation into his death found that he was murdered by the OCG – and key details were not mentioned in the initial post mortem.
The search for Gail Vella’s killer continues (Picture: BBC)
The investigation at AC-12 continues on Line of Duty (Picture: World Productions)
A few years later in 2003, Marcus was the SIO in the investigation of Lawrence Christopher in police custody.
The young architect was attacked on his way home in the Moss Heath area of The City by five racist attackers. One of which was Darren Hunter, the son of Organised Crime Group’s senior figure Tommy Hunter.
He was later killed in police custody, while officers made racist remarks and noises as he died.
Marcus was also pursued as a suspect during the 2015 investigation into Sands View in unaired scenes, but the inquiry into his was dropped following the arrest of Patrick Fairbank (George Costigan).
Marcus was last seen in Spain in 2015, and he could play a bigger role as the series progresses.
Which actor plays Marcus Thurwell and what has he been in before?
The actor will be a familiar face to many viewers (Picture: PA)
James is a familiar face to UK TV fans, having starred in the likes of acclaimed 2014 show The Missing, as well the Hobbit films, Paul Greengrass drama Sunday Bloody Sunday, Cold Feet and Bloodlands.
The 56-year-old spoke earlier this year about his desire to work with Jed Mercurio, and threw viewers off the scent by claiming that he’d been badgering Jed for a part for years.
He told RadioTimes: ‘I said, “Come on, Jed, when are we going to get a chance to work together?”
‘Even though Line of Duty had been shot here for years I was never considered for it, which has always slightly galled me.’
Line Of Duty continues Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.